With Christmas right around the corner, we're all gearing up to head into our three-family bubbles over here in the UK. Considering this probably means a few days locked in a single house with too many family members, a great way to diffuse some of the tension is to sit down with a great couch co-op game. We've taken some time to pick out the best of the bunch that will engage all of your family members in daft and wacky experiences over this unbelievably unusual Christmas experience.
If there's one way to really get the blood pumping, it's undoubtedly moving a sofa down a set of stairs with a family member. SMG Studio has captured that delightful experience and reimagined it as the party game Moving Out, where you will be asked to start a career as a Furniture Arrangement and Relocation Technician in a town where physics will become your greatest enemy. We can almost guarantee you'll be channelling your inner Ross and shouting "PIVOT!" from the top of your lungs in no time.
Overcooked: All You Can Eat
We're not exactly sure there will be a day when Overcooked isn't mentioned as a great couch co-op game. For this year, anyone who has been lucky enough to nab a new-gen console (PS5 / Xbox Series) can test their mettle on Overcooked: All You Can Eat, which takes the first and second game, as well as all of its DLC and blends them together for one massive edition. Needless to say, if you take the Overcooked test this Christmas, which can also be experienced on last-gen with Overcooked and Overcooked 2, expect things to get heated.
We know that exercising can be hard right now, with a lot of restrictions still in place determining the way we enjoy our lives, but why not try the next best thing - a puzzle game where you guide a group of alien athletes through obstacles. That's right, the gyms might still be closed, but that isn't stopping the Joggernauts from getting their hit of endorphins. Designed for 1-4 players, this cooperative title from Space Mace is ideal for bashing out a few hours this lazy Christmas period.
In past years, Minecraft itself might have even taken this place on our list, but we think the spin-off title, also developed by Mojang is equally, if not more enjoyable than its counterpart as a couch co-op experience. Minecraft Dungeons is an excellent title to play with family and friends because it not only combines the younger audience's divine love of Minecraft, but it also introduces a new playstyle that will undoubtedly captivate older players. And the best part, it's available on the amazing Xbox Game Pass line-up meaning you probably already have access to it.
If you grew up in the nineties, you might remember a strange cartoon that combined a cat and a dog, creatively titled CatDog. Well Phogs! is very similar to that, except this time it involves two combined dogs. Taking place over a bizarre world based around sleep, food and play, this title will task you with crazy physics-based encounters where as the dog duo, you will have to bark, bite and bounce your way to success. Playable as a solo game, Phogs! is best enjoyed as a cooperative title, where you and a partner control one half of the dog creature each.
We've already talked about Overcooked earlier in this article and how it's a great title for inducing the wackiest cooperative sessions you could imagine. But, let us throw an idea your way, what about Overcooked in space? That's pretty much what Catastronauts is bringing to the table, as it combines the high octane, stressful encounters of running a spaceship with the necessity to do it as a cohesive team. As you would expect, things will get pretty crazy, very quickly.
If you've owned a Switch for a while now, you might have come across this title a few times, but that doesn't change the fact that Snipperclips is a brilliant local co-op experience. Designed as an action-puzzle game, this title will ask you to cut your friends and family into a variety of shapes, to be able to complete imaginative puzzles. The best part, three is never a crowd in this one, as you can just jump right into the Party mode to dive into some tough, problem solving action.
Sackboy: A Big Adventure
Whereas a lot of our recommendations for this article are based around indie party titles, we couldn't look past Sumo Digital's outright adorable platformer, Sackboy: A Big Adventure. Playing as a PlayStation exclusive, this unique title instead portrays the iconic Little Big Planet universe as a 3D platformer, where we as Sackboy, have to stop the evil villain Vex from turning the brightly coloured world into a land of chaos and fear. With local co-op implementation that allows you to explore the entire storyline as well as a few unique multiplayer missions, this is a great couch co-op game for all ages.
Untitled Goose Game
If you aren't familiar with all things videogames, you probably look at the name of this title in utter confusion. But, behind the daft naming convention is a brilliant indie game that recently received a co-op mode for players to cause havoc in, in local multiplayer. The Untitled Goose Game two-player mode adds a second playable goose to the game and then lets you both loose in its bizarre open world, where you can tear up the Groundskeeper's garden and just outright terrorise the village's inhabitants as a pair of mischievous geese. The great part is that you can nab this one for quite a reasonable price and it's on most major platforms.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
To round out this simple Xmas King of the Couch is none other than the smash-hit Nintendo title Animal Crossing: New Horizons. This game is a fantastic co-op experience that allows groups of players to visit each other's islands, socialise and even build things as a unit. You can locally play this game with up to four players at once through the Party Play system, but at the same time, you can also play with up to eight people through local wireless and online multiplayer. While we know these latter options are not necessarily local, all you need is for your friends and family to bring their Switches, and bam! You're all having fun and not worrying about who ate the last mince pie. Merry Christmas.
There you have it, some brilliant and fun titles to make this unusual holiday period as enjoyable and jolly as any other year. While we know this year has been a tough one for a lot of people, we here at Gamereactor wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. To round out 2020 and to keep you as entertained as ever, be sure to check back next week when we start unveiling our top ten Games of the Year.
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